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A road trip to vibrant Goa; Chattisgarh to Goa in a Linea.

Discussion in 'Travelogues & Experiences' started by Arryan, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    Gratitude :
    At the very beginning I would like to offer my sincere thanks to senior member Pabhishek and all other people from other forums who provided valuable inputs in finalising the whole journey. With all the help and information provided by the esteemed members we had a smooth journey and a splendid holiday in Goa.

    Disclaimer :
    There are many travelogues on Goa in various forums but most of them are from Mumbai-Pune and Bangalore/Hyderabad and some other from Delhi. I could not find a travelogue from the central part or the eastern part of the country. I have no intention of matching up with any of the innumerable other travelogues on Goa but hope that this travelogue would encourage others from this part of the country to gather the courage and embark on a road trip to Goa.

    Prelude :

    Being born and brought up in the eastern part of the country, I never had the oppurtunity to visit Goa in my childhood or adolescent days. My wife also had never visited the place. After marriage, whenever the name of Goa came up as a holiday destination, it was discarded mainly because it was regarded (by both of us) as a costly affair. But the urge to visit this quaint little state was always there in the heart and the urge just grew stronger with time. Last year we planned to visit Goa during the puja vacations but was denied leave from my office. This year around the same time we were determined to make this trip and the planning started from the month of June. I know that the best time to visit Goa is from the month of November to February, but our tour plans are restricted by the holiday sessions of the school and thus end of September and first week of October was the best possible time for us to visit Goa. Accordingly the hotel booking was done from 29-09-2014 to 04-10-2014. The mode of journey was undecided at this stage and we frantically searched for discounted flight tickets to Goa for some time before we finally discarded the idea and decided to go by road on our trusted Linea. It was another oppurtunity for me to enjoy the brilliant ride on a long journey.

    The Journey :

    a. Bhilai to Pune - My holiday started from 27-09-2014; made all the final arragements in the morning and had a healthy sleep in the afternoon. Had an early dinner in the evening and tried to rest, but due to the excitement could not sleep again. Since every thing was ready, we decided to start the journey at midnight itself instead of the planned three o'├žlock start. Finally we started at 00:30 from home.

    We encountered the first hurdle after crossing around 8/9 KM when we saw that one side of the four lane highway has been blocked by the police just after Durg town. People from all over the state visit the MAA Bambleshwari temple at Dongarhgarh in Rajnandgaon district of Chhattisgarh and many of them travel bare footed. To ensure the safety of the people going to the temple on foot the administration has shut-off one side of the highway. Also there were several people on two wheeler and cars including some high profile government officials travelling towards the temple. This huge rush created some jams on the road and we could cover the distance at snail's pace. The second hurdle came at the Chichola border checkpost between Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. I should have taken the right side of the road and crossed the checkpost area, but I missed it in the dark and before I could take a decision and reversed I was surrounded by trucks. I had no other option but to follow the queue and lost some forty five minutes in the process.

    We reached Bhandara around 4 o'clock in the morning, the four lane construction for the Bhandara-Nagpur portion is complete however, the portion of the road passing through the town is still old style two lane road. We continued ahead and reached Nagpur ORR just after 5 o'clock in the morning. The Nagpur ORR charges a toll of Rs. 85.00 and the operator has maintained the road in good condition till the toll plaza. The condition of the road deteriorated just after the toll plaza, the top asphalt layer has been completely wiped-off for some 5KM and what is left now is some heaps of loose stones on the road creating a rut from the truck tyres. In one such place, where I thought that the Linea would safely pass, the underbody scrapped. Proceeding ahead we rejoined the NH6 at the Nagpur-Amravati section at around 05:30AM. This portion of the NH6 is immaculately maintained without any potholes and I always love to drive through this section. Crossed this section at triple digit speed and made up some of the lost time, reached Amravati bypass by 07:20AM a distance of around 150KM.

    We took a short tea break at the Amravati bypass near Badnera and also had our home made breakfast there. After the Amravati bypass the NH6 narrows down from the four lane highway to a traditional two lane road and moves on towards Akola. Just where the NH6 takes a right turn towards Murtizapur and Akola, we left the NH and moved on straight via SH199 and SH212 towards Karanza. As an alternative you can take the SH207 from the Amravati bypass near Badnera. After Karanza we took the same SH207 towards Mehkar. This state highway through Karanja-Mehkar-Jalna-Aurangabad is called the "Nagpur-Aurangabad-Mumbai Hwy" by the state government. The condition of the road was quite good compared to what I had encountered in last year November during my Shirdi trip, there was sparse traffic with soothing greenery all around. We crossed Bibi and Sindkhedraja to reach Jalna. Both Mehkar and Jalna has a bypass road and you need not enter the city. Somewhere between Mehkar and Jalna we were stopped by the police for checking, on asking I came to know that it was part of the routine checking procedure for the forthcoming election in the state. After taking a video footage of the car and the dicky they allowed us to proceed. We took the Jalna bypass and proceeded towards Aurangabad, the road from Jalna bypass turns to a four lane state highway. We reached the outskirts of Aurangabad shortly before 1 o'clock and stopped to have our lunch.

    Now I'll let the pictures narrate their story.

    NH6 - Nagpur-Amravati section.
    Sunrise on the way.
    Nagpur-Amravati section of NH6.
    DSC01126-1.jpg DSC01128-1.jpg DSC01129-1.jpg DSC01137-1.jpg DSC01138-1.jpg

    The state highway from Karanja to Mehkar.
    DSC01139-1.jpg DSC01140-1.jpg
    The greenery all around was very soothing.
    DSC01141-1.jpg DSC01142-1.jpg
    The trusted workhorse.
    More greenery.
    DSC01144-1.jpg DSC01148-1.jpg DSC01149-1.jpg DSC01151-1.jpg DSC01152-1.jpg DSC01153-1.jpg DSC01154-1.jpg DSC01155-1.jpg
    antony1405, 5u3zEr0, sudipz and 4 others like this.
  2. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    Note : I forgot to mention this at the begining.
    Most of the pictures during the journey have been shot by my wife and some by my son, if you love the pictures the accolades goes to them and if you hate the pictures, then blame it on me.

    Some more pictures of the day :

    The greenery all around.
    Lunch break before Aurangabad.
    Some serious discussion over the lunch (myself and my son Aryan).

    Before entering Aurangabad there is a road on the left that takes you to the Beed bypass road, from there took the Paithan road then the Nagar-Paithan link road and joined SH60 near Waluj, thus avoiding Aurangabad town completely. I never knew about this bypass road of Aurangabad but the MMI navigator showed a weird behaviour here. I had tagged the route in the MMI via Aurangabad and the lady would not allow me to take the bypass road. I had to reset the route in the MMI.

    The SH60 took us straight to Ahmednagar and from there SH27 took us through Shirur, Ranjangaon to Pune. Our destination for the day was "The Pride Hotel", University Road, Shivaji Nagar, Pune, a five star luxury hotel and we reached the hotel just before 6:00PM. This hotel has a corporate tie-up agreement with my company and I was offered rooms at the official rate.

    Distance travelled : 976 KM.
    Time Taken : 17hours 30 minutes (approx).

    Ahmednagar-Pune road

    The greenery on both sides of the road continues.





    As we approached Pune the huge windmills appeared.





    Ravi likes this.
  3. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    The Journey (continued) :

    b. Pune to Goa.

    A big bonus of streaching the first day's journey to Pune was that we were in no hurry to start early the next day. We woke up relaxed in the morning, had a luxurious breakfast in the hotel and started around 09:00AM and followed the SH114. I had some scare about the morning rush hour traffic but actually the traffic was moderate and did not face much problem in negotiating the office hour traffic. However, I had to stop and enquire at a couple of points to ensure that I was travelling in the right direction and route. Crossed the Katraj ghat and the moment I entered the tunnel I knew that I was out of Pune, soon joined the beautiful NH4.

    The journey on the spectacular NH4 was uneventful yet extremely pleasurable. Had our lunch at McDonald's at Kolhapur at around 01:30PM; noticed that there is a CCD and KFC also at the same location, but I have never read about the KFC and CCD before in any forum. Followed the NH4 till Belgaum where I had to leave this road and take a right turn to enter the city. As my luck would have it, I missed the Chorla road and took the longer route of NH4A through Khanapur, Mollem, Ponda to Panjim and from there took the NH17 to cross the Mandovi river and then took the interior roads to reach Arpora. A drizzle started when we were a few KM ahead of Belgaum and it continued till we reached our hotel in Goa. The NH4A after Khanapur is not in good condition and lacks proper maintenance. The broken surface of the jungle road is something that is bearable but suddenly out-of-nowhere huge craters would emerge and I had to stop the car completely and make out a way through the craters without scrapping the bottom of the car. In spite of being careful the bottom of the car scrapped in two such craters and the car stalled in one. The same road is beautifully maintained without any potholes in the Goa side. In spite of the pathetic road condition enjoyed driving through the serpentine NH4A, certain patches of which were engulfed in thick fog due to the rains.

    Reached Calangute area around 06:15PM but lost the route from there. The MMI could not locate the hotel (maps need an updation, I feel) so tried to find the location from the roadside shops and pedestrian. After some 20 minutes we found ourselves back to the same square. Then I called the hotel and asked for directions; the hotel reception told us to ask for Club Cubana at any roadside shop and the hotel is some 300 mtrs. from there. Finally reached the hotel at 07:00PM.

    Distance Travelled : 509 KM.
    Time Taken : 10 hours.
    Hotel booked : Double Tree by Hilton, Arpora Bardez, Goa.

    The exit from Pune

    The NH4.
    The majestic Western Ghats - after Khandala.
    DSC01207-1.jpg DSC01209-1.jpg DSC01210-1.jpg DSC01211-1.jpg DSC01214-1.jpg DSC01215-1.jpg DSC01219-1.jpg DSC01220-1.jpg DSC01226-1.jpg
    Lunch at Kolhapur.
    The NH4 was a bliss to drive.
    DSC01235-1.jpg DSC01237-1.jpg
    The NH4 in Karnataka - nearing Belgaum.
    DSC01241-1.jpg DSC01243-1.jpg

    Beautiful flowers on the roadside.
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  4. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Great start @Arryan.
    Always nice to read about some unknown roads and locations.
    Few pictures superb, so all accolades goes to your wife and your son. There are few shaky pictures, and all blame goes to you :).
    Arryan likes this.
  5. pabhishek

    pabhishek Esperto

    Linea T-Jet
    Beautiful pics @Arryan . NH6 is improved quite a lot in recent years. My favorite stretch is ngp-amravati. Have covered this section a number of times, mostly in indica/800 . Dont know when supernova will grace it?
    Arryan likes this.
  6. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    This is probably the Hidkal Reservoir near Belgaum.
    DSC01249-1.jpg DSC01254-1.jpg

    The lush green cover on both sides of the route.
    DSC01257-1.jpg DSC01258-1.jpg
    My son was fascinated by the sight of these huge wind mills along the route.
    DSC01263-1.jpg DSC01267-1.jpg

    The road beyond Khanapur.
    The NH4A through the jungle.

    The Tata Sierra was (probably) the first automobile to be designed and produced in India. Production ended in the year 2000.
    This car was doing triple digit speed on the NH4 between Pune & Khandala.
    asimpleson and Ravi like this.
  7. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    A lot is already available on the net about Goa and the things to do when you're in Goa. So I would not waste your and mine time in describing the same things again. We actually visited many places and beaches that we had planned to visit and at the same time we have missed some of the beaches. That makes a compelling reason to come back to this beautiful place again some time in the future. We had a very pleasant stay at the hotel, spent all the evenings at the poolside refreshing with a chilled beer after the hot sunny day, enjoyed a brief exercise session at the morning in the fab gym and loved trying our hand in snooker after the dinner.

    Intro with the sea at Baga.
    Fishermen taking off from the side.
    Not much tourists on day one.
    He was also enjoying the sea and when requested...........
    He turned around and posed for a photo.
    At the Aguada fort. There was a heavy downpour as we reached the fort.
    The Governor's residence from across the river.
    The Mandovi river meets the sea.
    Waves lashing at the foot of the fort.
    The Central Jail area (prohibited for public) at the lower layer of the Aguada fort.
    The famous light house-fort Aguada.
    For the history lovers.
    A large copper "Diya" inside the Se Cathedral.
    The main statue - Se Cathedral.
    Huge Chandelier inside the cathedral.
    Wall paintings inside the Se Cathedral. There were several others.
    The 12 apostles.
    I'm not sure what is written on this huge stone or what lies beneath this, but this huge stone on the ground has hooks on all four sides and can be lifted, if required.
    The Se Cathedral was undergoing extensive renovation inside-out by the ASI.

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  8. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    Statue of Jesus in front of Se Cathedral.
    Front face of the Se Cathedral.

    Imposing structure of Bascilica of Bom Jesus. DSC01418-1.jpg
    The details.

    The main statue. DSC01421-1.jpg
    The body of St. Francis Xaviers.

    The mortal remains of St. Xaviers - close-up view.

    Inside the Basilica of Bom Jesus. DSC01437-1.jpg
    The actual coffin of St. Francis Xaviers.
    The details.
    The Church of St. Cajetan.
    The main statue - inside the church.
    DSC01469-1.jpg DSC01472-1.jpg
    Church of St. Francis of Assisi - inside the church.
    IMG_20141001_132434-1.jpg IMG_20141001_132507-1.jpg
    The Viceroy's Arch.
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  9. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    Chapora Fort.
    A view from the fort gate; I hope you can see the Linea at a distance.
    Clean & lonely Vagator beach in the morning.
    Vagator beach from the top.
    Confluence of Chapora river.
    Waves crushing on the shore.
    The Vagator beach. DSC01520-1.jpg
    the beautiful coastline.
    Chapora & Anjuna river meets the sea.

    The beautiful Morjim beach across the river.
    We went till the end of the cliff...........
    and sat on the rocks with the vast sea in the front.
    DSC01506-1.jpg The Chapora fort from the cliff.


    We also enjoyed sitting on the rocks with the sea roaring and fuming below us.
    Waves crushing at the Vagator beach.
    DSC01541-1.jpg DSC01542-1.jpg
    Flock of birds (maybe seagull) at the Vagator.
    The fishermen with their colourful boats.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
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  10. Arryan

    Arryan Regolare

    Linea 1.3
    Parasailing at Colva beach - preparing for take-off.
    Take-off : it goes much higher than this.
    A second boat doing para sailing.
    Floating casinos of Goa.

    Another casino on the Mandovi river.

    Starfish ?? - Colva beach.
    Some fish, probably dead, floating in the water at Colva.

    Before I sign off from Goa, some pictures of the hotel, we stayed in.

    View of the hotel from the pool.
    Hotel 1-1.jpg

    A view of the pool from the balcony.
    The lobby area.
    Poolside dinner.
    Waiting lounge.
    Hotel Lobby.jpg
    Hotel Restaurant.jpg
    Restaurant - different view.
    Hotel Restaurant 2.jpg

    Room - on our request the beds were joined to form a kingsize bed.
    hotel room.jpg

    Hotel bar.
    Hotel Bar-1.jpg
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